WCKC Hikes: Harvard Forest

Exploring a new hiking trail: Harvard Forest

WCKC Hikes Harvard Forest: For father’s day this year, my husband wanted to check out Harvard Forest. This land is Harvard University’s 4000 acre laboratory and a classroom with many miles of public trails to hike. Our family picked up a free map from the parking lot. We decided to do the Natural History Trail that has interpretive signs along the hike. We enjoyed an easy hike through the well manicured trails. We enjoyed looking for sign posts along the way that told about the history of the land over the last hundred years. We learned how it originated as farmland and what it took to create the forest we saw on our hike. 

The kids enjoyed pointing out the signs along the way. And on this damp, cool day, they also found dozens of newts along the trail. This was an extra fun scavenger hunt of sorts that we kept up throughout the entire hike. 

At the end of our hike, we then checked out their small museum at the end. The museum is a series of dioramas that continues to educate the public on the land and the history of the place. Our kids picked up a scavenger hunt, and they looked for different animals and items in the dioramas as my husband and I read through the information.

Extending the Day Trip

After Harvard Forest, we ordered lunch at Petersham Country Store and ate a picnic lunch on their common. It was absolutely delicious with fresh local ingredients. We highly recommend their burrito options. 

If you are looking for a beer or some delicious ice cream, Stone Cow Brewery is also a close neighbor to Harvard Forest. 

Looking for more area hikes? Check out our WCKC Hikes: Rock House or our guide to stroller friendly hikes.

Harvard Forest

324 N Main St
Petersham, MA 01366

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